“Hunker down, stay vigilant” Kemp declares ahead of Thanksgiving

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ATLANTA, Ga – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey delivered a COVID-19 update and urge safety as the state prepares for Thanksgiving.

“We’ve seen a rise of Georgia cases in recent weeks. In light of that with not only Thanksgiving, but Christmas, Hannukah, the New Year, and other holiday celebrations right around the corner, we’re asking all Georgian’s to continue to do a few simple things,” Kemp said.

The four asks are:

  • Wear a mask
  • Practice social distancing
  • Wash your hands
  • Follow the guidance of state health officials

The unofficial fifth point is to get a flu shot to prevent a twindemic of COVID-19 and influenza.

Governor Kemp advises Georgians to limit holiday gatherings to only a few people in the same household or have a virtual event.  Also, if weather permits to gather outside. Travelers should try to socially distance from others. He added to minimize the risk of exposure to family members who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

“Our fight for COVID-19 has uprooted many of the norms that we’re used to, especially during the holidays. I know people are frustrated and ready to return to normal. I am as well, but we cannot grow weary. We have to keep our foot on the gas in this fight and as we celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, I think we have plenty to be thankful for,” the governor declared.

Kemp took a moment to thank hard-working Georgians, frontline workers, and law enforcement officials.

Department of Public Health Director Kathleen Toomey

“We’ve seen every time we have a holiday that our numbers increase,” Toomey explained. “Right now, in Georgia, we are still lower than in other states, but we’ve seen a steady uptick in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. We can stop that if everyone follows those guidelines.”

Toomey expanded that taking a COVID-19 test ahead of the holiday doesn’t mean someone won’t contract the virus a few days later. She asked to try and avoid family members who don’t live in the same household. For Georgians who do gather, socially distance, wear a mask, separate utensils, and if possible, eat outdoors.

Currently, Georgia still has between 45 days and two months of frontline PPE supplies. The state has also shipped eight million masks, over 287,000 gallons of sanitizing gel, 19,500 hand sanitization stations, and 52,000 face shields to schools.

Hospital and long-term care facility staffing are a top priority for the Kemp administration, which plans to allocate $25 million to staff augmentation.

Toomey and Insurance Commissioner John King’s teams are working together to create a comprehensive vaccine distribution plan.

“I want to take a minute to commend the Trump administration and Operation Warp Speed on really incredible work on the vaccine,” Kemp stated. “As soon as that supply is ready to be shipped, the state will be ready to deploy a safe, effective vaccine.”

More updates on the vaccine plan will be released in the future.

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